Electronic Re Ordering Of Medication Computer Science Essay

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There are a number of residential care home around UK, registered with the "Commission Quality of Care" to work with adults with "Learning disability". The aim of those Care homes is to promote residents' independence.

All care homes in the UK have a medication policy. In most care homes, medication supply is received every four weeks for all residents. Once received, the medication has to go through a manual inventory process and entered manually in the "medication stock control sheet" and "Mar sheet" which is signed when medication is administered to a resident. The reorder of medication is done in most cases by calling the local chemist, five days before the next supply of medication is due.

The problem associated with re-ordering over the phone has proven to be time consuming and unreliable, as staffs have forgotten to call the chemist over few occasions, resulting in medication running out, and the residents not taking their medication, which can be detrimental to their health. The solution to this problem will be to design, develop and implement software that enables the re-ordering of medication electronically

Project- Brief description

The aim of this project is develop software that will facilitate the re-ordering of medication electronically.

An electronic medication administration record sheet's database will be implemented which will be a four weeks calendar/chart displaying each resident's information:

Resident's full name

Date of birth

A recent photograph

Name of the medication to be dispensed along with the dose, route and time

Any allergies

The commencing date of the medication to be dispensed

The date the stock of medication has been received

The stock level of medication

Medication not dispensed

Any comments

At the completion of each medication round, data will be entered in the calendar/chart by carers, to update the information in the database.

Thus, it will then be possible to keep track on the stock level of the medication, as the stock decreases, five days before the next supply of medication, an automated e-mail and a text message will be sent to the local chemist. Furthermore, with such a database it will be possible to determine whether medication had been dispensed or not.


The software to be implemented will eliminate anomalies in the system

The software will automates the system

The system will be cost-effective and reliable

Design, implement, test, and evaluate a prototype application which reflects the award learning outcome and project idea

Plan and manage the project using set techniques in order to ensure the project is to be delivered on time and meets the specification

Research the research the field to identity areas that can be implemented into the new system

Document each stage of the project

Research into the technological environment and how the implementation will fit in

Record all meetings with project supervisor in a suitable logbook

Complete project within university laws and regulations and do it ethically in accordance with BCS ethical codes of conduct


The benefit of the project will be that it will ensure reliability, as medication will be re-ordered on time

The residents' health will not be affected

Automated messages are faster, reliable and cost effective, than phone calls

Resources: Technical resources required will be


Laptop processor 1.60 GHz, 3GB of RAM

5 mega pixel camera


Java Programming Language

Oracle 9i

Software Hardware interface a card for text messages using a sim


The project will take 120 days to be completed.

Outcomes and Primary deliverable of the project is to produce a fully-functional software

Deliverables: prototype artefact in line with the requirement specification.

Project plan


Report documenting every stage of the project

Ethics statement

Software Artefacts

Background and ideas

Academic research will be undertaken to underpin the project

Research into HCL of the screen designs and usability

Research into data security and associate legal issues

Human Computer Interface design and usability

Human computer Interface Design seeks to discover the most efficient way to design understandable electronic messages.

The software to be implemented will be used by a diversity of staffs and residents (noting that residents are allowed by law to get access to their personal data including medication records).

In order to recognize diversity, it is important to take into account the type of user frequenting the system, ranging from novice user, knowledgeable and expert user. Each user will expect the screen layout to accommodate their desires, novices needing extensive help, experts wanting to navigate as quickly as possible. In order to accommodate different styles on the same page can be challenging.

There are eight rules for Interface design

Strive for consistency

Consistent sequences of actions should be required in similar situations

Identical terminology should be used in prompts, menus, and help screens

Consistent colour, layouts, capitalization, fonts should be employed throughout

Ensure that pages are readable in many formats, to accommodate users who are blind or deaf

Enable frequent users to use shortcuts

To increase the pace of interaction use abbreviations, special keys, hidden commands

Offer informative feedback

For every user action, the system respond in some way, for example clicking a button will result in sound, or it changes colour

Design dialogs to yield closure

Sequences of actions should be organized into groups with a beginning, middle, and end. Feedback to show that activity has completed successfully

Offer error prevention and simple error handling

The form to be designed should prevent serious errors, for example by allowing only numeric entries in a menu selection, for instance

If users make an error, instructions should be written to detect the error and offer simple, constructive and specific instructions for recovery

The form should allowed easy reversible actions

Support internal locus control

Experienced users should be in charge, to avoid anxiety and dissatisfaction when mistakes are made

Reduce short term memory load

A famous study suggests that humans can store only 7(plus or minus 2) pieces of information in their short term memory. This can be reduced by designing screens where options are clearly visible, or using pull-down menus and icons.

Data security and legal issues

Authorisation from care provider and care manager to implement the software

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, individuals have a legal right to access their heath records.

The Data Protection Act 1998 governs the processing and keeping of computer and manual records.

Under the Act:

Anybody who processes personal data kept on computer must notify the information commissioner, failure to do so is a criminal offence punishable with a fine

If data is kept both manually and on computer, the process of the data should notify the commissioner that the data on computer is also on paper

Sensitive personal data ( which, for optometrists' purposes is principally data on the physical health of a resident0 must be processed fairly and lawfully

The data subject ( e.g. the resident) must give explicit consent to the processing of his personal data

All data should be confidential and should be protected from security breaches

Consent from residents to have their photographs taken